Margaret Thatcher (Margaret Hilda Roberts)
Photos with Margaret Thatcher
BiographyGrantham, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, England, the younger daughter of Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Her father was a greengrocer and respected town leader, serving as lay-leader with their church, city-alderman and then as mayor. He taught Margaret never to do things because other people are doing them; do what you think is right and persuade others to follow you. She attended Oxford University from 1943 to 1947 and earned a degree in Chemistry, but it was clear from early on that politics was her true calling. Read more... and 1951 elections. She married Denis Thatcher in December 1951 and they had twin children, Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher. She practiced tax law for a time in the 1950s, but was elected to Parliament from Finchley in 1959. Two years later, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Pensions. In 1970, she was appointed Minister for Education and earned the title "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher", for eliminating free milk for schoolchildren in a round of budget-cutting. After the Conservative Party lost both general elections in 1974, she defeated Edward Heath for the leadership of the party. She was elected Prime Minister in May 1979 and served for eleven and a half years, longer than any other British Prime Minister in the 20th Century. As Prime Minister, she was staunchly capitalist and bent on wiping socialism from the face of Britain. During her tenure, she cut taxes, spending and regulations, privatized state-industries and state-housing, reformed the education, health and welfare systems, was tough on crime and espoused traditional values. Her time in office was eventful, having to contend with an economic recession, inner-city riots and a miners' strike. Her first great triumph in office was the Falklands War in 1982, when she sent British troops to reclaim British possessions off the coast of South America that had been invaded and occupied by Argentina. The British won that war and it showed the world that Britain was once again a power to be reckoned with. Her time in office saw unprecedented economic prosperity. She was staunch political allies with Ronald Reagan and through their tough foreign and defence policies, brought the Cold War to an end and a victory for the Free World. It was she who persuaded President George Bush to send troops to Saudi Arabia right after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. The Poll Tax and her refusal to endorse a common currency for Europe led the Conservative party to force her out of office in a bloody internal coup. She was forced to resign as Prime Minister in November 1990. Since she left office, she was introduced to the House of Lords in 1992 as Baroness Thatcher. She travelled the world, touring the lecture circuit promoting her causes and is president of numerous organizations dedicated to her causes. In the last few years, her health has suffered and she no longer speaks in public.